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Robert Whitaker: Whence Cometh War?


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war


Robert Whitaker
Whence Cometh War?

Whence cometh war?
Bring the foul thing to bar.

Out of the hatreds of the ages long;
Out of the greed and blood-lust of the strong;
Out of the strutting swagger of the proud;
Out of the mad hysterias of the crowd;
Out of the lying honor of the State;
Out of the coward meanness of the great;
Out of the toll that profit takes from toil,
Of surplus spoil, piled up on surplus spoil,
Choking to idleness the workman’s wheel,
Or raping all the earth with ruthless steel;
Out of a devil’s smoke-screen of defense,
That turns to foolishness the things of sense,
Makes virtue’s garden a vast swamp of vice,
And sells the Son of Man at Judas’ price,
Nor has the grace to cast away the pelf
But makes of God an infidel himself.

Whence cometh war? we know the truth too well –
Out of the mouth of hell!

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